So how does everyone feel about the Ubaldo Jimenez trade right about now?

During Jimenez’s breakout first half of the season in 2010, he posted a 2.20 ERA in 18 starts for the Rockies. But after a year and a half of miserable baseball in Cleveland, we all assumed that version of Jimenez had long since disappeared.

But suddenly, and surprisingly quietly, Jimenez is back. In 18 starts since June 1, Jimenez has posted a 2.63 ERA – better than all but six American League pitchers in that span.

Jimenez has been particularly dominant as of late, posting a 1.94 ERA since the All-Star Break. In that span, only three pitchers – Jose Fernandez, Joe Kelly and Clayton Kershaw – have been better.

Early in the season when Jimenez was getting shelled I very seriously suggested the Tribe simply cut ties. He was a headache and a reminder of what, at the time, looked like a disaster of a trade. A few months later, they may be riding him to the playoffs.

When looking at an even more recent sampling of Jimenez’s hot streak, he’s even more impressive.

Since joining the Tribe, Jimemez has struggled with control, even during the early games of his hot streak. Between June 1 and August 17, Jimenez walked at least four batters six different times. But in his last three starts (20 total innings) he’s struck out 24 batters and walked just two. And he’s done it against three teams – the Braves, Orioles and Royals – who are a minimum of six games above .500.

I keep waiting for Jimenez to implode once again, but maybe, just maybe, it’s time for everyone to admit that he’s really back.

A few other notes from tonight’s win over the Royals…

  • Jimenez’s 1.94 ERA since the All-Star Break would be nearly unprecendeted for a Tribe pitcher if he can hold it there through the end of the season. The last Tribe pitcher with a lower post-All-Star Break ERA was Bob Lemon in 1952.
  • Chris Perez loaded the bases before shutting the door on the Royals. It was the sixth time this season he allowed at least three baserunners in a save opportunity. Only the Orioles’ ┬áJim Johnson (nine) and the Rays’ Fernando Rodney (seven) have more pathetic save attempts.
  • Royals starter Ervin Santana picked up the loss. His teams are now 1-7 in games he’s started at Progressive Field. The one victory: his no-hitter in 2011.
  • Wild Card update: the Rays were off, so the Tribe picks up a half-game. They’re now 1.5 games back of Tampa and tied with the Orioles who also won.

9 Comments

  • Seattle Stu says:

    is it possible to send perez to syria?

  • Chris says:

    Send him to Belize.

  • DaveR says:

    He’s been feasting on the 2nd tier clubs this season. If you pull his Boston and Detroit starts he’s the best pitcher in baseball (okay, not really). That’s definitely a useful guy to have around.

  • Tuck11 says:

    Ubaldo feels confident before he takes the mound. Somehow he found control. Control of his fastball. It makes all the difference in the world when you go to the mound thinking that way. Rather than thinking, “Well, I wonder if I’ll be able to…”. As for Perez, I think we just have to live with it. The bullpen really struggled when they had to step out of their roles when Perez was on the DL. I’d love to see some stats on how they did when Perez was out.

  • Cale says:

    Well, it’s not quite the Ubaldo we traded for, but it’s definitely one that works. He’s actually learned how to pitch, and not just throw the ball. If you compare this year to his 2010 season, he’s throwing his slider 24.4% of the time, compared to 15.4%. He’s also developed that splitter that he didn’t have in 2010 and is throwing it 10.2% of the time. He finally realized he lost a little off the fastball (which was 95.8 mph in 2010 and 92.1 this year) and became a pitcher. The downside is that the increased use of the slider is what is probably leading to more BBs than we’d like to see on the season.

  • Tribe Fan in San Diego says:

    Why do we even bother putting in Perez anymore? There has to be a better option.

  • Weston says:

    Earlier this season, I thought there was no way Ubaldo would be coming back–and I didnt want him to. After seeing this season’s whole body of work thus far, and particularly lately, I want the Indians to pick up his option for next season. If this is the guy we consistently get on the mound, he could be hard to replace. Congrats to him on re-finding his form, and a special thanks to Coach Callaway for helping him find it.

  • Seattle Stu says:

    i’d pass on ubusto and never think twice about it….every pitching coach must show that delivery to his pupils and say, ‘dont do that’…’dont do any of that’….but i do appreciate him showing up for a month here late in the season….keep it going please.

    how come i dont hear perez popping off anymore about idiot/absent fans, how awesome he is, how much money he makes, etc? also for those who attend games at the jake, what’s his entrance song? smoke on the water? one toke over the line? pass the dutchie?

  • Peter says:

    re: Ublado. I have been down on him for 2 years. What a train wreck he has been. Even when he pitched well, we were lucky to get through the 4th inning. Since the break, he has been so much better. I hope the constant tutoring has helped him find his past form. Or is it because he has an option coming up?

    It is an important distinction. One is a guy who lost it, has worked hard to get it back and the other is a guy where money is the motivator and once a contract is signed, he will return to poor pitching and effort. Call me a cynic!

    As for the option, didn’t I read here that both parties need to agree to the option? I think Ubaldo will sign a multi year deal with another team.